Home-made blueberry jam is wonderful addition to have in your jam collection. Besides its gorgeous colour (a deep bluey purple) it has a distinct and intense flavour, that goes brilliantly well with warm buttery toast or a multitude of other items
Making good blueberry jam is however not an easy task, as ripe blueberries have a relatively low pectin level and it is therefore difficult to get the jam to set. Here are a few of my tips for making perfect blueberry jam the natural way.
- For every kilo of fruit you need between 500 and 750 grams sugar (the higher the sugar level, the sweeter the jam).
- Crush most of the berries before you start cooking them. I use a potato masher but even squeezing them with your hands will do.
- Add the juice and zest of 1 orange or lemon per 2 kilos of fruit, (using an orange will enhance the sweetness whereas the lemon cuts the sweetness).
- If available, add ½ cup of blackberries, mulberries, loganberry, red/black/white currents or kiwi fruit per kilo of blueberries.
1. Place crushed fruit with ½ cup of water per kilo in a heavy based pot and allow to come to boil, then cook for 10 minutes (stir occasionally).
2. Add the sugar and mix until combined and dissolved.
3. Add the orange or lemon zest and juice and mix through before turning down the heat to a gentle boil.
4. Cook at gentle boil for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the mixture is not sticking to the bottom of the pot (if sticking reduce heat further).
5. At 45 minute mark you can commence to test the setting quality of the jam. The setting point can be tested by dropping a small spoonful of jam onto the surface of a chilled plate. If after a few minutes it forms a crinkly skin and you can run a finger through the jam without it seeping (spreading back into the wiped area) – it is done. If not continue cooking and try again in 5 or 10 minutes.
6. Once the jam has achieved the setting point, carefully pour into sterilised jar and screw on the lid. Turn the jars upside-down and allow them to cool.